Wash kale. Strip the leaves off the stems. Chop the stems and set aside. Roughly chop the leaves.
Heat olive oil in a large pan set over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add garlic and chopped kale stems and cook until soft.
Add kale to the pan, turn the heat up and add the water. Use a spoon to toss the kale leaves, then cover and cook for approximately 5 to 7 minutes, until they are soft and wilted, but still quite green.
Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until all the liquid has evaporated, another 1 to 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and peppers.
Use sautéed kale as a side dish, pizza topping or mix it into mac & cheese.